AGE, SEX, AND SEASONAL DIFFERENCES OF CARCASS WEIGHTS OF MOOSE FROM THE CENTRAL INTERIOR OF BRITISH COLUMBIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

Dan Aitken, Kenneth N Child, Roy V Rea, Olav G Hjeljord

Abstract


Carcass weight (4 quarters without head, hide, lower legs, or internal organs) of moose (Alces alces) harvested in 1995-2007 in the Omineca sub-region of the Central Interior of British Columbia, Canada were obtained from meat cutters records submitted to the Conservation Officer Service, Prince George, British Columbia. Mean carcass weight of male calves (<1 year) was 82 ± 16 (SD) kg and was not different (P = 0.629) from that of female calves that was 81 ± 13 kg. Mean carcass weight of juvenile bulls (spike/fork antlers) was 162 ± 21 kg. The mean carcass weight (249 ± 37) of adult bulls (larger than spike/fork antlers) was heavier (25%, P <0.001) than that of adult cows (199 ± 29 kg. Mean carcass weight of adult bulls was heavier (14 kg or 5.9% of carcass weight, P = 0.002) in the pre-rut (10-25 September) than post-rut period (16-31 October); a similar change did not occur in juvenile bulls (P = 0.244). The mean carcass weights of calves (P = 0.651) and adult cows (P = 0.142) were not different between the October and late November-early December hunting seasons. Carcass weights and sexual size dimorphism for moose from the Omineca were mostly similar to those from European and North American ranges. We recommend increased collection of biological data at hunter check stations to provide more accurate body weight data and associated relationships.

Keywords


Alces alces; body mass; carcass; moose; body weight; sexual dimorphism

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